Cameron's immigration speech held up by alarm 28 Nov 2014 at 9:04pm
DAVID Cameron was forced to pause his long-awaited speech on immigration after he was drowned out by an alarm at the factory where he had chosen to make the announcement.
THE Scottish Government is being criticised for its “slow progress” on a new Inverness prison to replace the current outdated jail, with claims the costs have increased by more than £20 million in five years.
THE UK government dealt a blow to the SNP’s property tax reforms today when Chancellor George Osborne unveiled a major overhaul of Stamp Duty which will offer savings to average home purchasers UK-wide.
AIRLINES today welcomed the abolition of air passenger duty (APD) for children under 12 but said the move from 1 May would cause “significant practical difficulties” because of families who had already booked flights.
Votes of confidence by Rev. Stuart Campbell 3 Dec 2014 at 10:19am
Alert readers will already be aware that we’re not the biggest fans of prospective Scottish Labour deputy “leader” Kezia Dugdale. Even this site, however, doesn’t think the Lothian list MSP is so inept and slow-witted that she could single-handedly be held responsible for the party losing the next two general elections. Some of her comrades, […]
The lie and the truth by Rev. Stuart Campbell 3 Dec 2014 at 8:30am
The Daily Record, 27 November 2014: So, IS the Scottish Government budget going to “nearly double”? The Chancellor’s autumn budget statement, 3 December 2014: If you can’t quite make that out: “A deduction will be applied to the block grant to reflect the Scottish Government’s tax powers. As a result, the importance of the Barnett […]
Souls in the system by Rev. Stuart Campbell 3 Dec 2014 at 6:59am
We’ve been watching in some bafflement the continuation of this bizarre non-story from yesterday. (For which, incidentally, the P&J has published a correction today.) As one in five Scottish children live in poverty and temperatures fall at the beginning of winter with many families facing the choice between heating their homes or buying food, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader […]
A less permanent permanence by Rev. Stuart Campbell 3 Dec 2014 at 4:13am
“We are agreed that the Scottish Parliament is permanent”: “Just kidding!”
World speed-reading record broken again by Rev. Stuart Campbell 2 Dec 2014 at 12:00pm
We didn’t think we’d ever encounter a greater feat of rapid comprehension than Alistair Darling digesting and analysing the entire 670-page White Paper on independence in under two hours back in 2013, readers. But we’re delighted to reveal a new champion. The Smith Commission began its work on 22 October this year, and concluded its deliberations on 26 […]
Matters of life and death by Douglas Daniel 2 Dec 2014 at 9:04am
Of all the powers that Labour were reportedly responsible for keeping reserved to Westminster, abortion law is perhaps the most revealing about Labour’s true attitude towards Scotland and devolution during the Smith Commission’s deliberations. It’s one of a handful of issues, including embryology, xenotransplantation (that’s transplanting a cell or organ from one species to another) […]
A letter to the editor by Rev. Stuart Campbell 2 Dec 2014 at 4:34am
…of the Press & Journal. Reference: ‘Nicola Sturgeon called to distance herself from Wings over Scotland website‘ Dear Mr Bates, In a little over three years of monitoring the Scottish media, I’ve ceased to be surprised by the publishing of blatant mistruths, nor by the inadequate journalistic standards that see people made the victim of […]
The unwilling accomplices by Rev. Stuart Campbell 1 Dec 2014 at 1:05pm
As we’re talking about surveys, opinion polls and statistics today, it seemed worth mentioning another one that’s come to our attention. Conducted earlier in the year by YouGov but only released today, it’s a vast poll done on behalf of the Co-operative and canvassed over 180,000 people, most of them through the Co-op’s own website. […]
The ultimate irony by Rev. Stuart Campbell 1 Dec 2014 at 8:12am
We’ve long known that Labour’s attachment to the Union was founded on the belief – though a statistically erroneous one – that it couldn’t form a secure UK government without the block of MPs (currently 40) that it sends to Westminster from Scotland. But a fascinating article from YouGov president Peter Kellner on the YG website today suggests that […]
The conclusion not arrived at by Rev. Stuart Campbell 1 Dec 2014 at 4:35am
There’s a curious column in today’s Scottish Sun on the subject of the Smith Commission. We’re going to have to quote quite a large chunk of it to make our point. “Has everybody forgotten that, just 18 months ago Johann Lamont came up with a plan to give Scotland complete control of income tax? When […]
Scottish NHS in £125m funding boost 3 Dec 2014 at 10:52am
Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirms that an extra £125m announced in the Chancellor's autumn statement will be spent on the Scottish NHS.
Report burn councillors suspended 3 Dec 2014 at 2:43pm
A group of SNP councillors involved in burning a copy of the report on strengthening the Scottish Parliament's powers are suspended from the party.
Health boards spend £82m on locums 2 Dec 2014 at 5:31am
The NHS in Scotland spent a record £82m on locum doctors last year, an increase of £18m on the previous year, according to data obtained by BBC Scotland.
Smith dropped 'unworkable' proposals 2 Dec 2014 at 5:44am
The head of the Smith Commission which recommended new powers for Scotland tells MSPs some proposals did not make it into the final report.
George Osborne's Autumn Statement demonstrates that the UK Government's austerity measures have failed since 2014, according to SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie MP.
After the election in 2010 the Tories promised that debt would begin to fall as a share of GDP by 2014/15: that the current account should be in balance by 2015/16 and that public sector net borrowing would fall to £20 billion in the same year.
Three SNP councillors are in the news today after they filmed themselves symbolically burning a copy of the Smith Commission report.
The councillors said they were expressing their frustration and anger that pledges of more powers given by the three pro-Union parties prior to the independence referendum were not reflected in the commission?s recommendations.
Gordon Brown's departure from Westminster politics -- strung out like one of his many pre-Budget off the record briefings -- was finally confirmed today, amidst media coverage akin to the death of a minor Royal and the familiar crocodile tributes from his peers.
The news -- for reasons unknown spun out for more than a week that just happened to coincide with the publication of the hollow conclusions of the Smith Commission -- followed the publication of a remarkable referendum memoir from one of the Yes campaign's most outspoken critics, the gutteral Telegraph hack Alan Cochrane.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today placed the strengthening of the Scottish economy at the heart of the Cabinet?s agenda at a speech before business leaders.
The Scottish Government?s Programme for Government, set out last week, included a promise to extend the Small Business Bonus Scheme for the lifetime of the next parliament if the SNP is re-elected. This year Scottish Government rates relief will help two out of every five business properties to the tune of £600 million.
Plans to establish a Scottish Development Bank to support high growth firms were also announced, along with funds to support the building sector by adding £30 million to the £100 million already allocated to the Help to Buy scheme.
The National is set for an indefinite print run. The first daily newspaper to back independence for Scotland sold well during its five day trial.
Newsquest, the company that owns the Herald and the Sunday Herald, hopes to reap the obvious business reward that was awaiting the first publisher to create a product that the 1.6 million Yes voters would support.
Nicola Sturgeon today announced the Scottish Government?s legislative programme for the remainder of this Parliament. It contains a proposal for a new Land Reform Bill as well as a Succession Bill and a review of the Council Tax. Announcements of further proposals are expected in the consultation paper to be published next week.
After a decade of absence, it?s great to see the land question back on the political agenda. This is an important, substantial and meaningful set of proposals. Taken as a whole, they will hopefully shift the baseline of the debate ? that is to say the set of assumptions and norms that have too often been taken for granted and in which politicians have too often been reluctant to tackle.
PQ Insider considers what the Smith Commission might say about Scottish broadcasting
Here in BBC Scotland very close attention will be paid to Lord Smith?s report this week.
The rest of the world may be rightly concerned about the high politics, and the detail of fiscal and welfare devolution. Our news department and its hangers-on will be telling the story in their usual way. The audience will have no problem discerning the Labour line, plus whatever the SNP government spinners have told Brian Taylor.
Surreal Scotland by email@example.com (Online Editor) 24 Nov 2014 at 11:08am
By Derek Bateman
Have we become Irish? I ask because there is such a hilariously contradictory mood around that it could be St Patrick?s Day. ?Happy? Of course we?re happy. We lost our independence and our living standards are going backwards but isn?t the party grand??
Makes you wonder just what we would be doing if we?d won the referendum? ?Cabinet members arrived for their first meeting dressed in assorted onesies. First Minister Sturgeon came in a panda outfit accompanied by the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band?The Cabinet sang Do They Know It?s Christmas before going into Bute House where they debagged Brian Taylor and threw his trousers on to the street. Reflecting off the windows were the flames of bonfires set by the mob in Charlotte Square gardens??
At the height of the independence campaign, as Gordon Brown paced the stage during his carefully-choreographed interventions, my attention was drawn to the faces of the party loyalists who had been co-opted into the act.
They sat behind him, dutifully holding their ?No Thanks? placards and seemingly engrossed while the Great Man burped and farted through a familiar litany of rhetorical threat and constitutional half-promise.
Each intervention was billed as a major one, of course. Here was the Saviour of the Union, called in at the 11th hour to seize Scotland back from the jaws of narrow nationalism.
A desperate Westminster establishment had projected the Bat-sign over Gotham, and there was mighty Brownman ready to leap from his den in faraway Fife, where he took his rest from saving the world.
Sweden?s far right a glimpse of UKIP?s potential by Dom 3 Dec 2014 at 12:44am
At half past four yesterday afternoon Mattias Karlsson, the temporary leader of Sweden’s far right Sweden Democrats, caused a political shockwave as he revealed to the press that he and his colleag...
Labour?s Green hunt has been done before, and failed. by Dom 18 Nov 2014 at 12:16pm
The most read article in the sidebar of the Swedish socialist newspaper Flamman is ?Are the Greens a bourgeois party?. The short answer is no, but the eagerness with which Sweden?s socialists are a...
November Holyrood voting intention by James 18 Nov 2014 at 4:03am
The Daily Record‘s latest poll with Survation has Holyrood numbers which, shall we say, may add to the anxiety in Labour that they still haven’t hit bottom yet. Presumably a new leader will hope fo...
Questions for the SNP depute leadership candidates by James 11 Nov 2014 at 7:34am
The SNP may know who their next leader will be, but the polls are open until Wednesday night for the depute role, and there are three contenders. I thought I’d ask them all three awkward questions,...
Faraway, so close! by Dom 8 Nov 2014 at 4:58pm
25 years ago the Berlin Wall came down. The most physical symbol of the division between East and West was pulled apart by the people that feared it. The spectre of a border dividing what was suppo...
Scoring the Labour candidates by James 2 Nov 2014 at 9:54am
It’s time for a bit of science on the Labour leadership. Or at least an entirely subjective game of Top Trumps. If I’ve missed anything out, do let me know. All scores are out of 10. Issues Sarah B...
De-pressing depression: a personal reflection by Malc 31 Oct 2014 at 4:48am
A brave and very personal guest post from Malc Harvey, one of the original founding team of this blog. Thanks Malc! Taking a leaf out of the book of John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow and Furn...
iScot launches today by weegingerdug 2 Dec 2014 at 9:34am
A new digital magazine and video news platform has launched today, iScot is open for business. iScot is an independent news service which aims to hold the establishment to account and to promote Sc...
Resetting Gordie Broon by weegingerdug 1 Dec 2014 at 6:04am
Gordie Broon doesn’t want Scotland to obsess about constitutional change. In this instance we can be certain that Scotland’s very own political Walter Mitty knows what he’s talking about because if...
Eyewash and plastic spades by weegingerdug 28 Nov 2014 at 7:08am
You’ve been promised something revolutionary and ground-breaking which is going to change the way you look at the world. This very special present has been placed in a huge box wrapped up in pretty...
Back from London by weegingerdug 26 Nov 2014 at 5:58am
So I go away for a few days, and have a great time apart from a rampant allergy to my daughters’ cats, and all sorts of things happen in my absence. Gordon Brown announces that he’s standing down a...
The Scots tung by weegingerdug 21 Nov 2014 at 2:51pm
The Scots tung: how to support it without tying up the Yes movement. A guest post by a Clear Contrair Spirit One of the insinuations heard (admittedly, mostly from English-based media) during the r...
Portillo moments on steroids by weegingerdug 17 Nov 2014 at 6:52pm
So that’s it then, the end of an era. Alicsammin has bowed out as leader of the SNP. But it’s not the last we’ll be seeing of him, he’s going to be a thorn in the flesh of the Westminster parties f...
Still a reluctant anorak by weegingerdug 15 Nov 2014 at 5:22am
A guest post by Samuel Miller (Macart) Well we?re eight weeks on from the vote and the world hasn?t come to a crashing halt. The sky isn?t raining blood. Sulphrous pits haven?t opened under our hom...
The oncoming train by weegingerdug 12 Nov 2014 at 6:53pm
According to the Herald, Jim Murphy has promised that if he wins the election for manager of Labour’s Scottish dead meat counter he’s going to wrest power back from the London office. What he reall...
I want my devo max by weegingerdug 9 Nov 2014 at 3:14pm
So where’s my devo max then? Like most people in Scotland who have been following political developments over the past few years – which is most people in Scotland – I fancy I have quite a good ide...
Up in smoke by weegingerdug 6 Nov 2014 at 5:52am
It’s only after you break a bad habit that you realise just how bad it was for you. Like giving up smoking or voting Labour in Scotland. That’s been a vicious addiction that hundreds of thousands h...